Friday, April 9, 2021

How Reiki Affected My Mental Health

reiki meditation and mental health

My boyfriend, Mike, sent me to his massage therapist for a massage last year due to my stress causing shoulder and back pain. His massage therapist also does energy work, including Reiki. Out of curiosity, Mike also purchased me a Reiki session. I didn't have any knowledge or expectations about Reiki other than it was energy work with Chakras. I don't hold any beliefs toward energy work or Reiki but decided to go to the session with an open mind and figured at the very least, it would be relaxing.

Reiki is often referred to as energy healing, targeting the energy fields around the body. It was started in Japan in the late 1800's. Reiki involves transferring universal energy from the practitioner's hands to the client in order to improve the flow of energy around the body and remove energy blocks thereby allowing relaxation, speed healing, and reducing pain and other illness symptoms. 

I scheduled my Reiki session for Saturday, April 3rd in the mid-morning. Little did I know, this would be the perfect day for a Reiki session. I awoke that day early and started practicing for a speaking engagement I had next the day about my experiences with doctors dismissing my reports of pain as a child. For the last two months, I have also been writing my medical story to be published in a book and writing my own children's book about Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. I have been working on these projects related to my health and Life's a Polyp quite vigorously without allowing myself mental breaks. This particular morning, all of the reliving of my medical trauma became too much for me emotionally. I was crying and distraught this particular morning before my Reiki session. 

When I arrived for my Reiki session, I was instructed to lie on a table face up. The room was dimmed and relaxation music was playing. She wafted some scented oils into the air and over my body. She occasionally laid her hands on me, primarily my feet and shins. Throughout the session, she held her hands hovering over my body and moved them back and forth in various motions. At one time, she was moving her hands lightly over my arm and it felt as though something was being spread over my arm or stretching the skin of my arm. 

She checked the flow of my energy in each of the 7 Chakras with the use of a pendulum. She said my 6th Chakra, the Third Eye, was very strong and indicated that I am very intuitive. I noticed that the pendulum moved over this area more than it did any other area. I was unable to see her hand causing movement in the pendulum. She advised I had a block in my 3rd Chakra, the Solar Plexus. The pendulum did appear to move less over this Chakra than it did over the other six. This Chakra is in the upper abdomen and holds our self esteem and confidence. It is believed that blocks in this Chakra are often experienced through digestive issues, which embodies my diseases of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome. 

She told me that she felt I was hanging on to past regrets and not fully loving myself or allowing myself to fully feel emotions. She told me that I'm a very serious person, a teacher to others, and I don't allow myself to fully feel joy. She explained that my life's purpose is to teach and help others and particularly help others learn compassion and understanding. I agreed with this description of myself she provided.

She asked me why I limit my experiences of joy and I shared my extreme fears of losing my parents and my desire for them to outlive me. To remove this block, she instructed me to imagine a large sunflower over my abdomen and to push all the built up sludge from this area into her hands that she moved lightly over my abdomen and sides. She did this for a long period of time. I began to physically feel light and when I expressed this, she stopped. Then she told me to imagine my body suctioning a yellow, shimmering light from her hands to fill my body. After awhile, my stomach began to feel full and when I expressed this, she stopped. 

She spoke about the energy field that surrounds the body. She explained that those with amputations having not only physical phantom pain of their missing limbs but may also experience an energy phantom pain. I told her about my phantom sensations of the stoma I had on my right side for 6 years before having my ostomy reversed. She again used the pendulum and began to spin it rapidly above my body. I was instructed to imagine this vortex acting as a suction over my previous stoma site. After she did this for awhile, I noticed that I began to feel extremely relaxed. At this point, she stopped.  

The Reiki session lasted 2 hours and I found it to be extremely emotional. I cried often during the session while she told me what she sensed about me and asked me questions about my fears of outliving my parents. She told me that the work we had done during the session would help with my mental health. She also encouraged me to set aside a specific time frame a day to think about the negative, fearful thoughts I frequently have rather than thinking about them throughout the day. She suggested allowing this set time to be when I'm working on Life's a Polyp projects so that I may channel these thoughts and energy into something productive. I had no idea what to expect from this Reiki session but it was perfect timing to help me cope with my medical PTSD triggers.

I decided I would set boundaries for my negative and fearful thoughts, as she suggested, and resume daily meditation exercises. The rest of the day I remained melancholy but by the next morning, I awoke refreshed with a much happier disposition. 

Is there something to Reiki and energy work? I don't know, but I do know that I enjoyed my 1st Reiki session and I am in a much better place mentally since experiencing Reiki. Would I do it again? Sure, why not?